GROWTH BY REGION
Why Utah is the Opportunity
Place to Build Thrives in the
Your Business Beehive State
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2 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
Office of the Governor
Salt Lake City, Utah
Dear Business Leader:
Welcome to Business in Utah, a publication by the Governor’s Office of Economic
Development designed to assist you in becoming more familiar with the business
friendly environment and regions in our state.
During my extensive travels around the state, I am repeatedly reminded of the
many good reasons Utah is regularly praised as a great place to do business. Our
preeminence is because we work to our unique strengths, we are innovative and
we maintain an attitude of success. With each ranking and accolade we receive, we
continue to demonstrate that Utah has the hottest business economy in the nation.
These recognitions are many, and they are growing. Utah is ranked No. 1 by
the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as the state with the best
“Economic Outlook,” and the Pew Center has named Utah as the “Best Managed
State” in the nation. No wonder numerous organizations call Utah “best for jobs”
and “best for business,” rankings that reflect the work and commitment of Utah’s
successful business community.
Our talented citizens comprise one of the most productive workforces in the
country. Companies as diverse as Disney, Edwards Lifesciences, P&G and eBay
all call Utah home, and have expanded their presence even during our nation’s
downturn. Utah shows signs that our dynamic economy is once again taking off in
a number of business sectors, including international export, finance, lifesciences,
IT and software development.
Economic development in Utah will remain one of my top priorities, along with
a dedication to public and higher education and development of Utah’s energy
resources. Together, with our business community and our citizens, we have built
a strong economic base that is a strong stabilizing force. Utah is truly a “State of
Opportunity,” and we are ready to grow – today and well into the future.
Governor Gary R. Herbert
State of Utah
4 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
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taBle of ContentS 14 Cover StorY
resolve of a native Son
Governor Gary r. herbert’s vision for Utah’s economic future
Utah has been a clear leader in sound government based on long-term
planning and effective management. Read how Governor Gary Herbert’s
pro-business vision is fostering economic opportunity and growth.
leading the economic Development Charge
As executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development,
Spencer P. Eccles has positioned the state for responsible economic growth.
Features 66 at the Crossroads
24 Growing Utah St. George, Salt Lake City and the Ogden corridor have long been
Utah is well known for its desert climate, but it also has incredibly fertile known as the crossroads to the American West. Today these
ground for business development and growth. Read how several local three cities are more than transportation hubs; they are desired
companies are expanding with post-performance tax credit incentives. locations for new warehousing, manufacturing and distribu-
tion centers. Read how major companies like Procter & Gamble,
28 Bringing it home Walmart and consumer products manufacturer Reckit Benckiser
Behind Utah’s growth is a well-oiled machine that has maximized the are taking advantage of local logistics.
state’s strengths to recruit some of the world’s premier companies. See how
the state’s innovative targeted economic cluster approach is driving results. regions
72 Wasatch front: the heart of Utah
32 Going Green Local leaders in the Wasatch Front push forward with innovative
With vast amounts of natural resources and open space, and the addition of business strategies, moving the region further along the road of
the Renewable Energy Development Incentive (REDI) plan, Utah is moving success.
to the forefront of states attracting renewable energy companies. Learn
what they are doing to make Utah a leader in the field. 74 Mountainland: Mixing Business with Pleasure
Beneath the postcard veneers of Park City resorts, Heber Valley
36 the right track meadows and Thanksgiving Point gardens, there’s a bustling
Strong education systems and growing economic sectors have a connec- economic engine and exciting new developments in business.
tion. Read about the initiatives and programs designed to prepare Utah’s
workforce for the state’s changing economic trends. 78 Southeastern: Diamond in the rough
A regional airport, highways, railroads and fiber optics networks
40 the Perfect Combination mean this area is ready for more than breathtaking views. Helping
Utah’s Economic Clusters Initiative is a catalyst focusing people, ideas and local businesses grow is a major priority for this region.
resources on industry sectors that have the greatest sustainable competi-
tive advantage. Look into the sectors putting Utah on the map not just 80 Southwestern: not Business as Usual
nationally, but globally as well. These counties have shown resilience to the economic downturn
and are making several strides toward a promising future.
46 from Sparks to flames
GOED’s incentives promote strong win-win partnerships and net positive 84 Bear river: nurturing Business Growth
tax revenues with little risk. Learn about four different incentive programs As the Bear River sustains wildlife and new life springs up along
that build on the long-term sustainable factors that attract top companies its banks, it’s almost as if the river is also sustaining many busi-
to the state. nesses percolating up from within this region as well as the profit-
able companies relocating to this area.
50 expanding Borders
Since the state’s first international business office opened in 1982, it has 88 Central: from the Ground Up
morphed into the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Central Utah’s economically sustainable products and industries,
and is continuously growing in scope and stature worldwide. Discover why including wind farms, turkey production, gas and oil mining, and
the organization’s relationship-building approach is elevating Utah as an other growing businesses bring a healthy balance to the area’s
international business state. natural landscape and recreational opportunities.
54 a healthy State 90 Uintah Basin: More than Meets the eye
Nearly half of small business employers do not offer health coverage to Oil and natural gas industries lead the way as new and expanding
their employees. The Beehive State is leading the way by putting the Utah business grow. The locals’ best-kept secret is that this region is
Health Exchange in place, a program that gives small business employers the finest place around to do business.
more health insurance options.
58 a Star in the Making UTAH’S BUSINESS LEADERS
What started out as the perfect backdrop for John Wayne and John Ford Accounting Firms
Westerns has grown into a robust and competitive film industry. See why Law Firms
Utah’s film-ready infrastructure is unmatched. Banks
62 Journeys of Discovery Top 50 Public Companies
From newly discovered dinosaur fossils to an exquisite symphony perfor- Top 50 Employers
mance, or from extreme mountain adventures to the rare beauty of desert
canyons, read how a journey through Utah is a journey that will elevate and 98 resources
refresh the spirit. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES BY COUNTY
8 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
THIS IS WHEN
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This focus on best practices is not limited to heart care.
We’re working to improve hundreds of clinical processes
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Healthcare newborns, pediatrics, and other specialties. Our efforts
have been noticed by many publications, and political
and medical leaders. That matters only because we’re
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There is much more to be done, but we are committed
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learn more, visit www.intermountainhealthcare.org.
12 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
For businesses looking to expand or relocate in the for companies in need of a large footprint, and our
western U.S., Tooele County, Utah is the strategic site. permitting process is convenient and fast. Our quality
Just 35 minutes west of Salt Lake City, we’re smack of life is extraordinary with picturesque valleys,
dab in the middle between the Rocky Mountains, mountains and the Great Salt Lake. We’re also home
the Paci c Coast, Canada and Mexico. In addition to for the world-famous Miller Motorsports Park, and
being centrally located with superb Interstate, rail Utah’s renowned ski resorts are less than an hour
and airport service, Tooele County has competitive away. For businesses searching for the strategic site,
land prices, utility costs, and wage rates. We also the choice is Tooele County, Utah—where industry
have an educated and eager workforce that will and opportunity meet every day.
take your company to the top. We have lots of land
For more information
Tooele County Economic Development
47 S. Main St.,
Tooele, UT 84074
Aerial view of Tooele City,
Utah Industrial Depot
and the Oquirrh Mountains
Native s oN
Governor Gary r. Herbert’s vision
for UtaH’s economic fUtUre
By KimBall Thomson | PhoTograPhy By EriK ÖsTling
1 economic outlook Rich StateS, PooR StateS
alec- laffer state economic competitiveness inDex
14 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
it is clear to anyone who has seen Utah’s 17th governor
in action that he has a deep and abiding rooting interest
in Utah—one that extends far beyond the professional
into the realm of the highly personal.
Born in american fork in Utah County, Governor Gary R. Herbert grew
up two towns over in orem, where he graduated from orem High school
before attending BYU in neighboring Provo. after serving six years in
the Utah army National Guard, Governor Herbert established two
businesses—Herbert and associates Realtors and the Kids Connection
childcare service—in the state. He and his wife, Jeanette, are parents of
six children, all of whom they raised in the Beehive state. Herbert was
elected Utah’s lieutenant Governor in 2004 on the Huntsman-Herbert
ticket, and became Governor Herbert in august 2009.
this native son and lifelong Utah resident views his role as Governor
as that of steward in chief of america’s most dynamic economy.
“Utah has established a real legacy for excellent management,” says
Governor Herbert. “i am committed to keeping the state on the right
course and to setting an example of what a state can and should be in
terms of high-quality, responsible governance.”
A Running StARt
Governor Herbert is off to a strong running the state’s responsible fiscal management and
start. aided by his active leadership, both as discipline.
lieutenant Governor and as Governor, Utah Utah garnered the nation’s top spot in
has been named Best Managed state by the Forbes magazine’s 2009 state by state Debt
Pew Center for Research on the states. the Weight scorecard, based on 12 leading eco-
study ranked states based on the quality of nomic factors, reinforced by the state’s aaa
their management of budgets, staff, infrastruc- bond/credit ratings from Moody’s and stan-
ture and information—including such factors dard & Poor’s, and its exceptionally low 2009
as recruitment and retention of qualified em- per capita debt of $447.
ployees; use of information and technology; in Governor Herbert’s first year of leader-
“If I were your financial management of budgets and purchasing sys- ship, the state also ranked first for economic
advisor, I would tell tems; and planning for improvement of roads, outlook in the Rich states Poor states study
bridges and other core infrastructure. by the aleC-laffer state Competitiveness
you without hesitation, leading analysts have also identified Utah index. the study contrasted “many states
‘Buy Utah!’” as the state best positioned to achieve a safe that are ‘getting it wrong’ in terms of policy
landing as the nation and world emerge from and business friendliness” to Utah, which it
Utah Governor Gary r. herbert the sustained economic downturn that began described as “unique in that its leaders are
in November 2007. the american legislative making some very conscientious decisions to
exchange Council has ranked Utah Number 1 improve their business climate and to make it
for expected economic Recovery, based on the clear they are open for business and are not go-
state’s sound economic approach of minimiz- ing to tax you out of existence.” Utah climbed
ing taxes, spending and regulatory burdens, from 9th to a close 2nd in the Pollina Corporate
and creating an environment of economic op- “top 10 Pro-Business states for 2009: Rebuild-
portunity and growth. this success rests on ing america’s economic Power.”
16 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
Spencer p. eccleS
goED ExEcUTivE DirEcTor
Leading the Economic
By Heather Beers UTah’s hisTory is filled with innovation and
vision, and perhaps no one reflects that legacy
as much as the new executive director of the
governor’s office of Economic Development
conveRting chAllengeS (goED), spencer P. Eccles. The combination of
into oppoRtunitieS his heritage and background enables him to lead
Utah’s continuing drum beat of accolades for example, the challenge of teaching Utah’s economic growth in significant ways at a
underscore the deftness with which its lead- and training the nation’s youngest and fast- critical time.
ership has undertaken the real and pressing est-growing school age population holds the he is a member of a legendary Utah fam-
challenges it faces. intrinsic opportunity of having an able and ily. marriner eccles, the son of the nineteenth-
Utah’s demographic situation—with the ready workforce to fuel Utah’s many dynamic century industrialist David eccles, served as the
second highest rate of population growth in entrepreneurial growth companies. the key to chairman of the federal reserve for 16 years un-
the nation, accelerated by the country’s high- creating and leveraging these opportunities, der roosevelt and established the eccles name as
est birth rate and the largest average house- Governor Herbert maintains, is to empower well as the state of Utah in the mind of the nation.
hold size—creates a singular set of challenges the state’s private sector and create effective the eccles family founded first security bank in
and opportunities for the state. collaborations between Utah’s business, gov- Utah and over the years, their name has become
“We have larger families, high birth rates, ernment and education communities. synonymous with civic responsibility.
a younger population, which places a tremen- spencer’s father, spencer f. eccles led first se-
dous demand on education,” says Governor the thRee e’s: educAtion, eneRgy curity from 1970 until it merged with wells fargo
Herbert. “this aspect of our demographics is And economic development in 2000. the family has long been committed to
truly unique in the United states. to be able to the need for the economic accelerators of serving the community, elevating the arts, health,
train and educate such a fast-growing popula- empowerment and collaboration is most ap- and education in the intermountain region for
tion, which adds another 10,000 to 12,000 stu- parent in the three top priority areas for the decades. as the great grandson of David eccles,
dents every year to the education system, with Herbert administration: education, energy and spencer p. has an enormous sense of stewardship
the smallest base of taxpayers relative to our economic development. passed down through the family and has proven
population of any state, is something no other himself a rising star in his own right.
place in america has to face. Excellence in Education. spencer’s professional career includes work-
“there is no question that this is a time of education is a high-stakes issue for Utah—one ing with wells capital management’s salt lake
real and sustained economic challenges,” says that requires bold and visionary leadership. office which manages over $2 billion in assets.
Governor Herbert. “No state is immune to the “the number one challenge we have right now he also worked with the olympic committee for
effects of the downturn in the national and is, ‘How do we pay our way when it comes to pro- five years and led over 1,500 volunteers and staff
international marketplace, but we are going viding government services that everyone wants during the 2002 olympic winter Games as the
to meet our responsibilities head on and turn and needs, education in particular, and do it with competition manager of the snow basin venue.
them into opportunities for us going forward.” less money?’” says Governor Herbert. he started his own venture capital company that
invests in early stage companies and he currently
sits on four company boards. mr. eccles has also
managed the family’s office encompassing sev-
# moSt dynAmic economy eral of his family’s businesses including three
KaUffman 2008 state new economy inDex ranching operations. spencer carries on his fam-
ily’s sense of responsibility, having served on nu-
# hAppieSt u.S. StAte
merous private boards and serving as president
msnbc - GallUp of the first security foundation and advising the
George s. and Dolores Doré eccles foundation.
# AmeRicA’S heAlthieSt StAte
now, spencer p. eccles has stepped away
Forbes maGazine from the private sector – all because of a call from
Governor Gary r. herbert. “when the governor
# BeSt StAte FoR BuSineSS
calls, you pick up the phone,” spencer joked. “it
Forbes maGazine was completely unanticipated. but, because
of my love for Utah and my desire to give back
# AmeRicA’S top StAteS FoR BuSineSS - 2009
– the request got my attention, and i felt that it
cnbc was important to take the opportunity to serve as
the Governor’s office of economic Development
# expected economic RecoveRy (GoeD) executive director.” continued >
american leGislative exchanGe coUncil
to answer the imperative of optimizing
cost-effective government services, Governor since spencer stepped into the GoeD office,
Herbert formed the Utah advisory Commis- he has deftly applied his business acumen to the
sion to optimize state Government last sep- Energizing Economic Development. governor’s vision for promoting economic devel-
tember. led by Norm Bangerter, Utah’s 13th Utah’s success in funding the education of its opment, education and energy development. he
Governor, the commission includes top busi- populace and fostering continued economic dy- explained his approach is all about building on the
ness, education and government leaders from namism depends, in large part, on the quality and existing foundation and collaboratively working
throughout the state. success of its economic development efforts. with the GoeD team to execute on the Gover-
“We formed this exceptional collaborative “economic development and education— nor’s vision of economic development.
working group to make sure that we are de- especially higher ed—are really joined at the
livering services as effectively and efficiently hip,” says Governor Herbert. “if our companies
as possible,” says Governor Herbert. “We are succeed, there will be more money to put into
committed to maximizing taxpayer dollars, the education system. By the same token, if we
finding savings where we can, and finding bet- improve our education system, we will have
ter processes and efficiencies in the system.” stronger people coming out to develop our
the group will also explore the implementa- economy.”
tion of new technologies to drive efficiencies. Governor Herbert is a strong believer in the
the Governor’s overall goal is to deliver private sector as the ultimate source of eco-
the highest possible quality of education and nomic growth: “it is not going to come from gov-
other services in the most cost-effective man- ernment – real, abiding solutions to economic
ner. “i am extremely optimistic that the great growth never do.”
people on this commission will find efficien- in many cases, Governor Herbert believes
cies,” says Governor Herbert. “it will be hard, the proper role of government is to “get out of
but we can do hard things, and excel at them.” the way” by ensuring that taxation policies are SuppoRting BuSineSS gRoWth
in addition to the civic and social welfare ben- not so burdensome that they thwart the ability mr. eccles understands that sustainable econom-
efits of education, Governor Herbert sees a clear, of the economy, its companies and entrepre- ic development depends on the state’s efforts to
reciprocal connection between Utah’s educa- neurs to prosper and expand. improve Utah’s business friendly environment.
tion system and the state’s continuing economic “i’m opposed to a tax increase right now,” he GoeD works to strengthen and grow Utah’s ex-
dynamism. “education is the glue that holds so says. “it is just the wrong time to douse these isting businesses, both urban and rural. it also
many essential things together,” he says. “You flickers of recovery with the wet blanket of a encourages entrepreneurship and investment. it
cannot have long-term sustained economic suc- tax increase.” works to attract national and international busi-
cess without an excellent education program.” in addition to the direct economic impact ness. GoeD also supports education for the long-
Governor Herbert points to Utah’s flagship of a tax increase during a recession, Governor term viability of the state.
research institution, the University of Utah, Herbert points out the psychological impact of mr. eccles said that Utah does this in a num-
which in 2009 tied with Mit for first in the na- telling companies and entrepreneurs that the ber of ways. “we have a pro-business governor
tion for the number of start-ups generated by needs of government and politicians take pre- and legislature – with a corporate income tax of
technology developed at the school. the “U” – cedence over the needs of business—the pri- just 5 percent; we’ve kept our tax rates among the
and Utah’s other major research universities, mary source of long-term economic growth. lowest in the nation.”
Brigham Young University and Utah state Uni- Yet the Governor sees a strong affirmative he pointed to several successful corporate
versity – all excel at developing technologies for role for government in the state’s economic incentive programs GoeD administers, which
commercialization in areas ranging from it development—helping facilitate and provide makes expansion in Utah more attractive to
and aerospace to medical devices, genetic diag- fertile soil for the entrepreneurs, who will in growing companies. based on post-performance
nostics and drug delivery. turn create opportunities and grow successful rebates, GoeD incentives also further the mis-
“We need to ensure that our education businesses that provide high-quality jobs. sion of having a sustainable and fiscally respon-
system continues to evolve so that our stu- “in addition to being lean and mean as a state sible program in Utah.
dents get the best, most relevant information government, more than ever before we have an Governor herbert is ardent about his concern
available,” he says. “this will enable them to imperative to take a hands-on approach,” he for small and emerging businesses and therefore,
develop the skills and technologies the mar- says. “We need to work closely with the private has ensured that his budget provides for the many
ketplace demands, and to remain on the cusp sector and empower it to find solutions to the GoeD business programs
of technological and economic evolution.” economic challenges we are facing.” along with the state’s supportive business ac-
tivities, GoeD partners with many groups around
the state, such as the economic Development
TOP StAteS FoR joB cReAtion
corporation of Utah and the Utah sports com-
ihs Global insiGht mission and the Utah science technology and
research (Ustar) initiative, among many other
# pRo-BuSineSS StAteS FoR 2009
public and private organizations. there are tre-
pollina corporate mendous resources for people who want to grow
their business in Utah,” said eccles.
# loWeSt poWeR coStS in the nAtion continued >
U.s. enerGy information aDministration
18 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
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> Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pure Energy Rush.
though the Herbert administration is working when media organizations like Forbes and
to foster growth in all significant Utah indus- cnbc rank Utah among the top three states in
tries, the Governor has singled out energy as a which to do business, Utah’s productive work-
top priority. “We have tremendous natural ad- force is usually one of the top reasons. a strong
vantages when it comes to energy—and many educational system is one of the primary con-
of them are largely untapped,” he says. tributors to Utah’s stellar workforce.
in recent years, Utah has significantly in- eccles talked about Utah’s efforts to improve
creased its discovery and production of tra- the communication between three key stakehold-
ditional fuels, natural gas and other energy ers: business; education; and government. “we
sources. (see the “energy and Public Utilities” have something unique occurring here in the
section of the 2010 Utah facts Book.) Utah cluster acceleration partnership (Ucap)
Governor Herbert’s philosophy carries the “We are finding vast reserves of natural gas because it brings industry and academia together
same resonance as visionary leaders who pre- and other fuels,” says Herbert. for example, in powerful ways,” said eccles. he explained that
ceded him, creating such economic develop- significant deposits of high-quality, low-paraf- government works closely with industry and aca-
ment projects as: fin oil has been discovered in central Utah, aid- demic leaders to identify the types of students
ed by new technology. analysts estimate that and skills that the business community needs.
The legislative and regulatory environment there are more than one billion barrels of easy- educators then develop curriculum to support
that allowed Utah to become the global to-refine oil in one of the fields. Juab County in those needs. these unprecedented partnerships
leader in the industrial bank industry. central Utah is home to significant reserves of are facilitated by a collaborative effort between
The pioneering Centers of Excellence bio-diesels and other bio-fuels. the Utah Department of workforce services, the
program, which successfully Utah also possesses a massive quantity Utah system for higher education, and GoeD,
commercializes technologies that of clean coal; its high BtU makes it burn ex- which help support academia in job training and
flow out of Utah universities. tremely hot, while its low sulfur content en- placement in one of seven targeted industry clus-
The Utah Fund of Funds program, sures that it burns considerably cleaner than ters. the Ucap partnership provides just one
which increases the amount and diversity coals from other states. example of how key governmental stakeholders
of capital available to promising Utah in addition to these traditional fuels, Utah work together with education and industry.
entrepreneurial companies. is home to a rapidly-growing renewable energy earlier this year an education partner, the Uni-
The Utah Science Technology and industry, including significant wind, geother- versity of Utah, through its research and commer-
Research program, which helps attract mal, solar and hydroelectric power projects. cialization efforts, tied massachusetts institute of
world-class research and commercialization “thanks to new fuel discovery and capture technology as the no. 1 campus in the nation for
talent to Utah universities. technologies developed or ‘refined’ at Utah uni- spinning off companies and Ustar is enhancing
A variety of award-winning rural economic versities—which enable us to more effectively these results through its commercialization ef-
development programs. fracture the rock to find and extract fuel—we forts. “the legislature has committed $300 mil-
are literally awash in natural gas, a cleaner fuel lion through the Ustar program,” said eccles.
Governor Herbert is fully committed to than traditional gasoline with respect to green- “this creates significant private sector opportu-
building upon this legacy. “Going forward, our house gases,” says Governor Herbert. “these nity, because profit is a great motivator.”
administration will be guided by the questions fuels, together with our emerging renewable re- “in addition to our business friendly activities
of, ‘What we can do to help our homegrown sources, will allow us to significantly grow our in the state we recognize that the cost of energy
Utah companies and entrepreneurial talent economies in the short-term. and, in the long is a key component in what business does, and it
to, first, stop the bleeding, and, next, grow and term, will help provide energy independence relates to our ability to attract companies here,”
expand?’” he says. “We have a tremendous ris- for america and ‘fuel’ our growing economy. said eccles. helping supply affordable energy to
ing generation of entrepreneurial talent with Utah is poised to become one of the drivers of the nation and keeping operational costs low are
extraordinary creativity in business, science energy independence and growth in the econo- Utah’s plentiful energy resources, including natu-
and technology. We are going to do all we can my not only in Utah, but also nationally.” ral gas, coal and oil shale fields. alternative and
to empower them to take Utah to levels of Bolstered by Utah’s momentum in econom- renewable energy in the form of wind, solar and
achievement greater than anything we have ic development, education and energy, Gover- geothermal power are also under active develop-
yet experienced.” nor Herbert is bullish on his state’s present and ment in Utah.
future: “if i were your financial advisor, i would
tell you without hesitation, ‘Buy Utah!’” bU SuppoRting SucceSS
with Utah’s pro-business strategies, fiscal re-
sponsibility, low unemployment, education initia-
# moSt dynAmic economy tives, and aggressive energy development, eccles
KaUffman 2008 state new economy inDex
points out that Utah is poised to lead the nation in
emerging from its current economic challenges.
# hAppieSt u.S. StAte
when coupled with the self-reliant and produc-
msnbc - GallUp tive citizens, its vast resources, its quality of life,
and its innovative industries, it is clear Utah’s
# AmeRicA’S heAlthieSt StAte successful past is merely a prelude to its even
Forbes maGazine brighter future. bU
20 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
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with staying power. 30
to be exact.
R&O Construction — opening new doors since 1980.
22 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
Why Utah is the Place
to Grow your Business
SAlt lAke CIty,
GRoWInG “The incentives will allow us to continue to
expand our operations here in the state,” Nel-
son says. “We wanted to be here and I’m glad
that GOED was willing to work with us.”
Over the next decade, Nelson plans to add
up to 350 new employees, many of them highly
paid scientists and technicians.
Companies Flourish The state of Utah will reap the rewards of
increased taxes—as well as the continued pres-
in the State’s Fertile Soil ence of a life sciences company with a global
Nelson Laboratories provides analytical
By Heather Stewart and microbiological testing services to the
medical device, pharmaceutical and dietary
supplement industries. With a 25-year history
Years ago, entrepreneurial success brought Jeff Nelson to a tough in Utah, the company boasts more than 4,000
decision. His company, Nelson Laboratories, faced a crisis of clients in dozens of countries.
growth—its staff of nearly 300 scientists and support personnel “The presence of Nelson Laboratories in
completely filled the company’s facility. But Nelson had plans for Utah helps grow the life sciences cluster here.
even greater growth, so he reluctantly began considering a move to We are a benefit to the medical device and
a new location, even if that meant leaving Utah. pharmaceutical companies that might want to
“It’s a very friendly business environment move here,” Nelson says.
here,” Nelson says. “But as a businessman, I
knew that all the cards were on the table.” An InCentIve to GRoW
Fortunately, the Utah Governor’s Office Utah is well known for its sunny, desert climate
of Economic Development (GOED) stepped in featuring red sand dunes and high mountain
with post-performance tax credit incentives peaks. But the state has also been long recog-
that made it possible for Nelson to expand nized for its incredibly fertile business climate,
onto his current facility, nearly doubling the which has enabled companies of every kind to
space to approximately 110,000 square feet. thrive and grow.
1 nelSon lABoRAtoRIeS
24 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
Building a Business in Utah
The fact is Utah has all the right environ-
mental factors to help companies succeed. The
cost of doing business is low, the local work-
force is young and educated, and a great qual-
ity of life attracts top talent from around the
world. On top of that, the state’s research uni-
versities and vibrant community colleges turn
out a fresh crop of graduates each year.
All of these factors contribute to the suc-
cess of a wide range of companies, from fi-
nancial powerhouses like Goldman Sachs to
defense contractors such as ATK. Information
technology companies like Overstock.com
have also found a happy home in the Beehive
Omniture, a Web-analytics company, is a
classic Utah success story. Founded in 1996, NeLsoN LaBoratories, a contract laboratory nelson says the key to his company’s success
the high-tech startup quickly grew into a dom- that provides analytical and microbiological in Utah has been the state’s centered location and
inant worldwide presence with 1,200 employ- test services to manufacturers in the medical cluster initiative. “we have great access to reach
ees based around the globe. Omniture recently device, pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical, di- clients on the west coast and the east coast. it
agreed to be acquired by Adobe Systems in etary supplement and tissue industries, first couldn’t be a better location,” he says, adding,
order to further expand its reach and its offer- opened its doors in 1985 near the University of “we’re excited to see the state’s cluster initiatives
ings. The company will continue to operate out Utah. initially employing only five individuals, which will help specialized companies do well.
of Utah as a division of Adobe. the company has since grown to more than 290 GoeD is really making it easier for companies to
Utah’s great business climate is no acci- scientists and staff. among them are more than move to Utah. the state is also developing a tal-
dent—it’s nurtured and protected by GOED. 110 degreed scientists of which more than 45 ented workforce that’s really exciting.”
“When Governor Gary Herbert took office, he are registered and microbiologist specialists. nelson laboratories was recently awarded an
wanted us to put a special emphasis on helping when the company needed to expand its fa- incentive to expand in the state, but nelson says
local companies expand,” says Derek Miller, cility to make room for its phenomenal growth, the incentive was only the icing on the cake.
managing director of GOED. ”We recognize Jeff nelson, ceo, says he never seriously con- “GoeD didn’t just give us money, they gave us an
that our best customer is our current custom- sidered taking the lab outside of Utah. that’s incentive to create jobs,” he says. “GoeD is work-
er, so as long as we have businesses here in the because from day one Utah proved to have what ing for the state and holding companies account-
state, we are going to help them grow.” the company needed to succeed. able to produce. overall, GoeD and the local gov-
What is the best catalyst? For corporate “we have had really good luck being in Utah,” ernment of taylorsville were great to work with.
growth it is tax relief. GOED uses post-perfor- says nelson. “when it came to considering where they’ve helped me learn a lot about the local
mance tax incentives—like the ones that Nel- to locate, it was an easy choice for several rea- structure and economic development of Utah.
son Laboratories received—to help companies sons—Utah had everything we needed.” they really spent time teaching us about all the
expand their operations in Utah. different ways they could support us. they were
patient with me as a business owner—they
walked me through the process and listened to
“The current economy is causing companies our needs. it’s been a real partnership.”
to think about ways to save money, and that
includes looking at Utah.”
JoSh Romney, Governor’s policy aDviser
“The current economy is causing compa-
nies to think about ways to save money, and
that includes looking at Utah,” Miller says.
Web-auction company eBay, for example,
recently decided to close down an operation
These incentives only take effect when a outside of the U.S. and greatly expand its pres-
company actually expands and adds workers ence in Utah.
to its payroll. If the company ends up paying in- With the financial backing of some post- For example, GOED’s Miller points to the
creased corporate wage, withholding taxes and performance incentives, eBay is constructing Procurement Technical Assistance Centers,
sale taxes, it could receive a refundable credit a new data center that will create 50 new posi- which “help small businesses navigate the
for up to 30 percent of those increased taxes. tions, and it is currently adding 400 new jobs to difficult waters of government contracts.”
“We don’t leave bags of money on a leader’s its customer support center. Counselors from the centers walk companies
doorstep and hope something will happen,” Post-performance tax incentives made a through the process of registering and submit-
says Miller. “There’s no up-front money.” In- significant difference in the company’s deci- ting proposals for federal, state, local and mili-
stead, companies enter into a contract with sion to invest further in Utah, according to tary contracts.
the state in which the company agrees to ex- William Lasher, senior director of indirect and According to Miller, the Procurement
pand its operations in the state, hire new work- multi-state taxes for eBay. “A lot of factors go Technical Assistance Centers helped Utah
companies score over $370 million in govern-
ment contract work in just the first half of the
“We recognize that our best customer fiscal year.
is our current customer, so as long as we GOED’s International Trade and Diplo-
macy Office aids local companies as they work
have businesses here in the state, to expand their reach into global markets. The
we are going to help them grow.” team connects Utah businesses with potential
international partners and markets. The office
deRek mIlleR, manaGinG Director of GoeD
also relies on diplomacy to open up new foreign
markets and educate the world about valuable
ers at wages that are at least 125 percent of the into site selection,” he says. “Tax costs are one industries in Utah.
county average (in urban areas) and commit to of them. We do a comprehensive analysis of Utah’s rural areas often provide an ideal
remain in Utah. the tax situation for each site under consider- business solution, with easy access to trans-
These post-performance incentives could ation.” portation corridors, an ample workforce and
come into play in a variety of situations: when However, tax relief was not the only reason many natural resources. On top of these as-
a company simply wants to expand with new Utah became eBay’s top choice. sets, the state offers fast-track grants and in-
offerings or products, when a company consol- “Utah has an educated and diverse work- centives for companies to expand and grow in
idates operations into Utah, or when a merger force,” says Lasher. “The community is well Utah’s rural communities.
or acquisition results in a greater corporate suited for eBay, with great language, commu- Agriculture is a large component of Utah’s
presence in Utah. nication and technology skills.” economy, and a local organization is work-
The latter situation was the case for the for- Lasher also credits GOED with helping ing to bolster the state’s many food producers,
mer Huish Detergents, a Utah-based company smooth out the difficulties inherent in an ex- manufacturers and distributors.
that was acquired by Connecticut-based Uni- pansion project of this size. “The officials at The Utah’s Own program was originally
lever in 2008. Together, the companies formed GOED helped us build relationships in the launchedbytheUtahDepartmentofAgriculture
Sun Products Corporation. business community and with other govern- and Food, but has expanded over the years with
The parent company initially looked at ment agencies,” he says. “They helped expedite backing from the state legislature. Utah’s Own
moving the Utah operations to Connecticut. decisions and cut through some red tape.” encourages state residents to support home-
“We engaged with Sun Products and talked grown companies by choosing local products.
to them about not only keeping the Utah jobs CUltIvAtInG loCAl ComPAnIeS The program started out promoting a small
here, but moving new jobs to Utah as well,” Financial incentives are just the tip of the ice- handful of Utah-brand food products, but has
Miller says. berg when it comes to state support of local grown to encompass hundreds of food produc-
Now, Sun Products is in the process of a $14 businesses. GOED has several programs that ers and manufacturers, as well as other agri-
million expansion of its Utah facilities. contribute to the success of companies in all cultural products like natural-fiber fabrics and
regions of the state and in every industry. soaps.
A GReAt vAlUe “At GOED, our number-one priority is cre-
Indeed, companies worldwide are taking a new ating jobs,” says Miller. “Utah is blessed to be in
look at Utah as a viable site for doing business— a situation where we have the workforce, the
whether it’s a manufacturing plant, an IT com- quality of life and the right business climate to
pany, or a new corporate headquarters. attract and grow outstanding companies.” BU
26 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
Spanish, German, Chinese,
C++, Java and
137 other languages
It might come as a surprise to some people that Utah has
one of the most diverse language populations in the country.
But in Utah there is more . . .
We have the youngest workforce in the nation at 28.5 years.
Our workforce is also highly skilled and productive. Just ask
Microsoft, Disney Interactive, Oracle and eBay. They have all
recently expanded in Utah. Maybe you should too!
Call us today and we can help you find a
great place for your business in Utah.
324 S. State Street, 5th Floor • Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 • (801) 538-8700 • www.business.utah.gov
Several unique program components have
been instrumental in Utah’s success. The
starting point is a clear, well founded strategy
driven by the State’s innovative Targeted Eco-
nomic Cluster approach. Directors in different
strategic business areas provide focus and pri-
ority for highly attractive segments of econom-
ic development emphasis. “Cluster directors
help identify targets for what’s currently hot
Responsible Recruiting and what’s coming down the road,” says Derek
Miller, managing director for Business Growth
Funds Utah’s Growth
at GOED. “Utah’s competitive advantages are
articulated in these cluster strategies in the
form of our strengths and natural abilities that
By Mark Dayton will translate into recruiting advantages.”
A good example of this targeted approach
is in the digital media sector. For a number
of years Utah has been developing a growing
depth of digital media talent, through strong
university programs at the University of Utah,
Brigham Young University and Utah Val-
over the past few years a steady stream of announcements have ley University, and an increasing number of
hit the press regarding major companies who are expanding opera- skilled entrepreneurial startup “alums” with
tions to the state of Utah. Driving past some of these major new hands-on, in-the-trenches experience. “In the
business installations gives the sense that things are happening in past, we trained all of these good people, and
Utah, despite the grip of recession that has all but crippled many the best and brightest were recruited out of
other areas of the country. and indeed things are happening. over state,” says Miller. “By combining this valuable
the past three years, Utah has successfully landed 31 out of 32 ma- talent resource with Utah’s outstanding qual-
jor relocation/expansion deals it has competed on. ity of life, business environment and other ad-
However, the excitement around that lev- vantages, we are attracting major companies
el of success can create the illusion that these that will provide jobs and keep our talent pool
things “just happen” through the mysterious in the State.”
operations of the market. While Utah intrin- A growing list of companies are leveraging
sically has much to offer, behind the growth Utah’s winning combination of factors in this
is a well-oiled machine that has compiled buoyant sector, including Disney Interactive
an impressive record of maximizing Utah’s (video games), EA Arts (sports video games),
strengths to recruit some of the world’s pre- Sandman Studios (digital effects for movies
mier companies to the Beehive State. like Shrek, Pushing Daisies) and Niche Studios
The recruiting machine is built and man- (digital effects). “They have all discovered eco-
aged primarily by the Governor’s Office of nomic and talent recruitment/retention ad-
Economic Development (GOED). After sys- vantages in Utah versus traditional Southern
tematically planning their approach several California locations,” says Miller.
years ago, the group has gone about orchestrat-
ing a highly attractive and effective program
of creating strong win-win partnerships with
a growing list of marquee companies anxious
to leverage the native and program/incentive
benefits the state provides. The approach re-
lies on sound strategy, creative public/private
partnerships, strong business fundamentals
and commitment to an open partnering ap-
proach focused on long-term success and em-
SAndmAn StUdIoS, vISUAl FX FoR Pushing Daisies.
28 Utah Governor’s office of economic Development
seNior DireCtor, eBaY
Why eBay Chose Utah By Linda T. Kennedy
With strategies solidly in place, the machine
next shifts into active recruitment gear through
a partnership with the Economic Development
Corporation of Utah (EDCU). This private-
sector organization provides the expertise,
relationships and manpower to recruit com-
panies and manage prospective opportunities
through the process. “They are our boots on the
ground, knocking on doors, making the pitches
and nurturing the relationships,” says Miller.
“We have a strong partnership with them that
has worked extremely well, saving us the need
to staff up to try and do it internally.”
In addition to proactive personalized re-
cruitment efforts, the state also works through FoUNDeD iN 1995, eBay is known the world in June 2008, the company announced that
consulting organizations that focus on corpo- over for global commerce and providing inter- it would be adding a 250,000-square-foot data
rate site selection activities. These partners net platforms for payments and communica- center to Utah. and in may 2009, ebay brought
work through industry associations, maga- tions. it has expanded to include some of the 200 new full-time positions to its customer sup-
zines and other mediums to ensure that Utah strongest brands in the world, including PayPal, port operations. less than a half year later, in oct.
is well represented in the coverage and rank- skype, shopping.com, stubHub, rent.com, Half. 2009, ebay decided to expand its Utah workforce
ings provided to site selection decision makers com and others. and its operations have also again, adding 207 additional positions.
in target companies. expanded beyond it’s headquarter offices in san the economic Development tax increment
Jose, California to Draper, Utah. financing ebay received from the state of Utah
leveRAGe the FUndAmentAlS “ebay chose Draper city for a customer sup- coupled with incentives received from local cities,
Having engaged potential companies in the site port center in 1999 primarily because of the were helpful when ebay had to make a quick deci-
selection process, the recruiting discussion quality of the workforce, favorable business sion on where to locate the new U.s. employees.
shifts to detailed analysis of business funda- climate and proximity to san Jose,” says wil- but lasher says ebay was especially surprised
mentals, an area where Utah consistently ranks liam lasher, ebay senior director, indirect and with the level of involvement these organization
extremely high on three of the most crucial multistate taxes. “as the Draper facility grew, had in helping ebay solve its problems.
measures. “Almost without exception, compa- we became increasingly aware that the business “if we encountered an issue or an opportu-
nies who have located in Utah cite three impor- conditions in the state were ideal.” so ideal that nity that we needed assistance with, we would
tant differentiating factors: workforce, business over the next 10 years, Utah’s ebay staff grew to place a call and within hours, we would usually
environment and quality of life,” says Miller. 1,000 employees, and the company decided to have a reply,” he says, adding that in the rare
further expand its local operations. case someone didn’t have an answer, they would
always provide ebay with an alternative contact.
“GoeD did more than process our application
“Almost without exception, companies who for incentives; they did whatever they could to
make it easy for ebay to do business in Utah.”
have located in Utah cite three important
differentiating factors: workforce, business
environment and quality of life.”
deRek mIlleR, manaGinG Director of GoeD